Wenona Cook Hall, built in 1899, is BHSU's oldest residence hall. It is named after the wife of BHSU's first president.
Black Hills State University will usher in its 130th anniversary with a Founders' Day celebration Wednesday, Feb. 27, with a chili cook-off and a trip down memory lane with a style show featuring clothing and accessories from BHSU's past and present.

Alumni, friends of the University, and members of the community are asked to bring their prized chili to the gathering. The cook-off will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Club Buzz located in the basement of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union. The style show will begin at noon.

Anyone interested in entering the chili cook-off, please register by contacting Tom Wheaton at Tom.Wheaton@BHSU.edu or 642-6385.

Prizes will be awarded for first through fourth place. The public is invited to attend.  The cost is $5 per person payable at the door with all proceeds going toward scholarships for BHSU students.

In conjunction with the 130th anniversary, the alumni association is asking former students to share their most memorable moments from BHSU. Ten entries will be drawn at random to receive a free “1883” BHSU t-shirt. Please submit your entries to Tom.Wheaton@BHSU.edu or send them to BHSU, Attn: Alumni Office, 1200 University Street Unit 9506, Spearfish, SD 57799-9506. Be sure to include your t-shirt size when you submit your entry. All submissions must be received by April 2.

BHSU was originally founded as Dakota Territorial Normal School in 1883, before South Dakota had even gained statehood and before the city of Spearfish was officially established.  Four year degrees were added in the 1920s, and in 1941 the school was renamed Black Hills Teachers College. Graduate courses followed in 1953 and by 1964 there was a new designation-Black Hills State College.

Over the next several decades, the college continued to grow in strength and stature. In 1989, the name was changed to Black Hills State University to reflect the depth and breadth of the academic offerings.